A strategic alliance between Panther Racing and Dreyer & Reinbold Racing means that Panther gets a two-car line-up for 2012, and DRR lands a Chevrolet engine for its driver Oriol Servia.
DRR terminated its engine supply arrangement with Lotus at the end of last month, but then had to find a replacement from one of the other engine suppliers to the IZOD IndyCar
Series - either Honda or Chevrolet.
Panther Racing meanwhile has been trying to expand its single-car line-up consisting of the 2011 Indianapolis
500 runner-up JR Hildebrand into a two-car team, and already had an unused second engine deal with General Motors waiting to be activated.
Finally, just five days ahead of this year's Indy 500, the two halves of the puzzle came together with confirmation from both teams of a deal between the two that will see Oriol Servia take the wheel of the #22 Panther/DRR-Chevrolet car on Saturday and for the rest of the 2012 season.
"The timing of aligning with Panther and putting this deal together is exceptional," said DRR co-owner Dennis Reinbold. "We're really looking forward to working together and moving forward as a two-car team."
"We've wanted to operate as a two-car team for some time now, but the right opportunity has never arisen to allow us to accomplish that," said John Barnes, Panther Managing Partner and CEO. "But as soon as we had the opportunity to work with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing and Oriol Servia, a guy I consider one of the best all-around drivers in IndyCar, this was a no-brainer for us."
The two teams already have a great deal of common ground heading into the new arrangement.
"We gave JR his start in IndyCar
racing, so we'll always have a soft spot in our hearts for him and to pair JR alongside Oriol will allow them to feed off each other and continue to get better throughout the year," pointed out Reinbold.
"Dennis and I have been friends for a long time, and they've got a great group of guys on their team that we're very excited to be working with," added Barnes. "I know we're all looking forward to be working under the same roof and expanding upon what we've both built all these years in the IndyCar
From the drivers' point of view, Oriol Servia was certainly happy with the new arrangement - and presumably relieved to have an engine for his Indy 500 bid.